Allotment sheds can provide rich pickings for those skilled in the art of skulduggery. Lots of garden tools stored in flimsy wooden huts situated in dark, remote-ish areas equals a handy supply of easily re-sellable garden tools. Fortunately for us, the only thievery we have experienced to date is the sight of a neighbouring allotmenteer feasting upon our raspberry bushes, punnet in hand, cheeks bulging with plundered fruit. Others on our allotment site have experienced break-ins… now we can deal with a few missing fruits, but the thought of someone sniffing around in our shed gives us the fear.
With the onset of winter, the allotment will once again be a lonely place, our shed at the mercy of any passing ne-er do well.
It’s time to beef up security…
1. Fit strong locks
A sturdy hasp, staple and padlock should be your first line of defence, making sure you fit the hasp and staple through the timber frame, not the shed boards.
2. Fit stronger hinges
It’s no use having a beefy lock if a hooligan can simply jemmy the door off the door frame. Fit the strongest hinges you can find, and affix them using tamper-proof security screws.
3. Secure the window
Windows are a weak point. Miscreants may consider hurling a pot plant through the window to gain access or peer through it to asses the treasures within. Taping bubble wrap to the inside of the glass will help obscure the sheds contents, but this will have no defence against an angry brick. Fit a hinged flap on the inside like the ones you get in bird hides to prevent such misdeeds.
4. Consider a security light
Floodlights are a decent way of detering unwelcome nighttime visitors. Not so useful in an allotment environment, but we’ve got one attached to our residentially situated brewing shed. It’s also handy for illuminating late night cider pressings (much to the annoyance of the neighbours).
5. Keep it empty
Use your shed for bags of manure, plant pots and old copies of Gardeners World, but nothing else. Take your tools with you and store them at home – leave nothing of value, lose nothing of value. A ‘no tools left in here overnight’ sign pinned to the shed door may prevent an unwelcome forced entry and the inconvenience of a busted shed door.
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